Ted Cruz embraces 'wacko bird' label

Senator Ted Cruz is seen on a television screen in the Senate Press Gallery during the tenth hour of his speech on the Senate floor 25 September 2013 Ted Cruz is short of allies in Congress

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Senator Ted Cruz is deliberately casting himself as a conservative firebrand, a Texan Tea Party purist to whom "compromise" is a dirty word.

Some Republicans despair of both his tactics and his ego.

But he won't care - he has embraced John McCain's description of him as a "wacko bird". Reading Dr Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham from the floor of the Senate can only elevate him from Daffy Duck to Roadrunner in the esteem of his public admirers.

Many Americans think their politicians spout childish nonsense, but rarely have they actually revelled in doing so.

Just about all Republicans loathe President Obama's healthcare reform law and for some of them any attempt to destroy it is to be applauded.

Ted Cruz has earned himself a lot of team points from the Tea Party, but fewer from his peers in Congress.

Some Republicans think what he is doing is either pointless or dangerous. Pointless because this is not a classic filibuster - it stands no chance of actually killing the bill.

Beyond that, it is odd, because the bill he is delaying couples paying the government's bills to defunding Obamacare. That linkage is a core conservative tactic, which Mr Cruz himself agrees with.

While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is expected to take out the latter when it goes to a final vote, it was the Republican-controlled House of Representatives that put it there in the first place.

But some Republicans worry that approach itself is wrong - if the government did come grinding to a halt they might get the blame for real economic harm and a blow to America's image abroad.

It raises questions not just about individuals and parties but the fitness of the whole system. It is perhaps little wonder that in one recent survey just 7% of Americans thought Congress was doing a good job.

As Dr Seuss once wrote: "From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!"

Mark Mardell, North America editor Article written by Mark Mardell Mark Mardell North America editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Obamacare is the law.Since it was passed Obama was re-elected. The people have spoken. We've survived far worse than Cruz many times before, we'll survive him too. If Republicans shut the government down they'll probably pay a heavy price for it come the next election. Democrats will have a field day with it. They opposed Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid too for all the good it did them

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    Ted Cruz is a national embarrassment and a shameless media whore. So all I can say is please please please let him be the GOP nominee in 2016!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    If you dont like the Affordable Care Act the only way to get rid of it is to win elections and reppeal it, nothing is acheived by this ridiculous stunt except damage to the GOP. A few yahoos will think he's the next Ronald Reagan whilst the rest of the country, the world even, has seen him reading Dr Seuss on the Senate floor. The guy is an embaressment having his 15 minutes of fame/shame.

  • rate this

    Comment number 41.

    29. LucyJ

    "The list goes on and on of how USA culture is being replaced by Latino culture"

    What exactly is "USA culture", Lucy?

    Let me guess: your culture, right?

    We have a well established and growing Latino population out here in Colorado. If that means we have a Latino culture, so be it. I can't say I've really noticed a change. It's still people just trying to get by.

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    @ Lucy J.
    Your argument would carry more weight if you got your basic facts right, Canada does not have a President, it is a parliamentary democracy, it has a Prime Minister.


Comments 5 of 146



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